If you grew up close to the country side in the Mediterranean basin, Australia or some parts of the United States, chances are you are already familiar with Eucalyptus tree. What you might not know is that in addition to having a great smell, perfect for men’s products, the oil distilled from its leafs contains over 100 compounds, some which can do wonders for your skin and beard.
In this article, we will be highlighting the main components of eucalyptus oil and their effect on your facial and scalp hair.
1,8-cineole (around 75%)
Around 75% of eucalyptus oil is 1,8 cineole and as such, this compound is extremely important to the oil’s medicinal properties.
Academic research to this compound has focused on its use as a penetration enhancer for surgery sterilization. The studies unanimously found that eucalyptus oil makes sterilization in surgery more effective thus reducing the risks of infections.
More interestingly though, this ingredient has been found to increase blood flow and act as an anti-inflammatory, which in turn is said to accelerate hair growth.
There has also been a relatively large debate on the effect of cognitive performance as a result of the increased blood flow in the brain.
D-Limonene (Up to 13%)
Commonly found on citrus plants, this compound can make up to 13% of Eucalyptus oil. Particularly if the oil is extracted from the Lemon Eucalyptus plant variety.
Once again, this ingredient is said to improve penetration in the skin, which means that it is a great companion to other active ingredients. On it’s own it has also been shown to repair skin tissue, thus aiding in the growth of new facial hair and skin.
D-Limonene is the culprit for the slight lemon aroma you might encounter in some eucalyptus essential oils.
Alpha and Beta Pinene (Up to 9% and up to 1.5%, respectively)
As the name suggests, this component is responsible for that fresh, pine-y (is that a word?), forest like scent. Just like 1,8 cineole, it has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, which helps the blood circulate better and keeps your face and beard clean and free of black spots.
This substance has also been found to decrease oil production in oily skin and as such, in higher quantities, it can actually help dry out your skin. This might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but rosemary and pine oils, for example can do wonders for oily skin.
It is important to note that on some cases, people have had allergic reactions on the skin to this ingredient, and as such you should always read the label for any warnings. Even though eucalyptus oil can contain up to 9% of a-pinene, it can also just contain traces of it.
Alpha-Phellandrene (Up to 1.5%)
Used in pharmacology mostly for its aroma, this chemical can also be found in rosemary and other herbs. It hasn’t been given much academic attention and it doesn’t amount to much more than a trace in eucalyptus oil. However, it has been argued that in the aroma therapy field, this component has some great benefits for the body.
Academic research is slim, though it has been argued that this component strongly contributes to the antibacterial action of some essential oils.
In conclusion, eucalyptus oil contains some great properties for hair growth as it is said that it stimulates hair follicles and blood circulation in the face and scalp. It also works by reducing oil production in oily skins, moisturizing the skin and reducing the damage to facial hair, due to its positive effect in the levels of ceramide, as detailed in this 2008 paper.
Your beard can start benefiting from the properties of Eucalyptus through 3 methods: Creams, Oils and Butters. If you have a fully developed beard, go for a beard oil containing eucalyptus, as it will keep it shiny and fresh whilst also contributing to facial hair growth. If, on the other hand, you’re in a shaving phase, invest in a cream or butter containing Eucalyptus and apply it to your face, this will improve blood circulation and stimulate cognitive performance- a double win!